December 20, 2011

Men's Hoop falls after late surge by Providence, 67-52

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) just missed notching his second career double-double, registering a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to Providence College, 67-52, on Tuesday evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

The Wildcats fall to 4-5 on the season while the Friars win their sixth straight, improving to 10-2.

Konan was named the America East Player of the Game for just the second time this season, as he rounded out the night with two assists in 32 minutes. He shot 7-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) added 13 points and one rebound. Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) corralled nine boards, tallied three points and one block.

After trailing 29-23 heading into the break, New Hampshire stormed back with an 11-3 run to open up second half and take its only lead of the contest, 34-32, at 15:34.

Konan fueled the 'Cats with seven points during the stretch, scoring the first basket of the run on a layup and then dished off a pass under the basket to Benson for a dunk on back-to-back possessions. The forward polished off the scoring outbreak with a layup and a trifecta on consecutive trips up the floor to give UNH the two-point edge.

Vincent Council answered Konan's trey with a layup on the other end of the floor; setting off a 13-2 Providence run that reclaimed the lead, 45-36, with 12:33 remaining in regulation.

A pair of Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) free throws disrupted the run and sparked an 8-5 scoring stretch by the Wildcats that trimmed the deficit down to six. Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and Abreu both dropped in layups on consecutive possessions while Rhoads finished off the stretch with two more free throws at 9:45.

The Friars responded with five unanswered on their way to posting a 15-2 run that gave the home team its largest lead of the contest, 65-46, with 3:23 remaining in regulation. LaDontae Henton and Gerard Coleman combined for 11 points during the stretch, as Henton scored the final three field goals of the spurt to put UNH away for good.

Providence opened the game up with a 6-2 run, fueled by a pair of buckets in the paint by Coleman on back-to-back trips up the floor to spark the scoring spurt. The run was disrupted when Abreu knocked down a fastbreak 3-pointer, but the Friars kept pace, posting a 10-1 run from that point on to build their lead to 16-7 at 10:34 of the first half.

After a brief scoring lull by both squads, Konan and Abreu helped right the ship, each sinking a trey, as the Wildcats fired off six unanswered points to cut the deficit to three with 7:32 on the clock.

Both squads exchanged baskets for the next two minutes, but a Konan 3-pointer from the right wing set the score at 22-20 in favor of the home team with 5:09 remaining in the first stanza. Providence would take control from there, putting together a 9-3 scoring run to close out the half, heading into the locker room with a 29-23 edge.

The Wildcats are back in action on Thursday, Dec. 29 (7 p.m.) when they return home to battle Sacred Heart at Lundholm Gymnasium.

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